Tagged: Zelous Wheeler

The Yankees followed Jeter’s heroic Yankee Stadium finale with a win at Fenway Park

Jeter jumping for joy after Thursday's walk-off.

Jeter jumping for joy after Thursday’s walk-off.

After Derek Jeter hit the game-winning walk-off hit to beat the Baltimore Orioles in his final home game on Thursday, the Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox 3-2 on Friday. Jeter’s walk-off was an inside out single to right that he has hit countless times in his career. David Robertson had the best blown save of his career in the top of the ninth to set up yet another clutch hit from Jeter.

After Brett Gardner sacrificed the fast Antoan Richardson to second, Jeter’s “Jeterian” single to right scored Richardson to win the game. Jeter leaped towards the sky after the run scored, walked back out to his position at shortstop to get one more view and then Bernie Williams, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada fittingly came onto the field to greet their longtime teammate. It was a storybook ending to end Jeter’s career playing in front of the home fans in the Bronx.

Jeter even surprised himself with how the game ended. “I wouldn’t have believed it myself,” Jeter said. “I can honestly say I don’t think anyone played harder.” Jeter said that he is aware that other players have more talent, but his effort each and every day helped take him to the top. For the first time in his career, he asked to have Friday’s game off because he was so exhausted from Thursday and everything that happened after it.

I don’t know if I could play tonight if I wanted to play tonight,” he said. “Last night was as special as it gets.” He said that if he wasn’t going to play his last game at Yankee Stadium, the next best place is Fenway Park because of the rivalry. He will be the DH on Saturday and Sunday out of respect for the Red Sox.

“He had such a special night last night,” Chris Capuano said. “I think everyone can understand him just wanting to take a day.”

Jeter also hit a double to left in the first for his first RBI of the game. Hiroki Kuroda allowed only two runs in eight innings in what might have been his last start as a Yankee. He had a 3.71 ERA in 32 starts and didn’t fall apart like he did the last two seasons.

On Friday, Jeter received a “Derek Jeter” chant from the crowd even though he was only in the dugout. The Red Sox fans also proved that they recognize greatness since they booed when Jeter didn’t pinch hit in the ninth. The Yankees were able to get the win even though five rookies started the game. No one in the lineup had played more than 47 games for the Yankees this season.

Chris Capuano, who pitched in the beginning of the season in the bullpen for the Red Sox, did not allow an earned run in 6.2 innings pitched. He is a pitcher who the Yankees will likely consider for a spot in their bullpen next season. Allen Craig’s run in the second was unearned because Chris Young made an error on Craig’s single earlier in the inning. Capuano, who is 36, threw 91 pitches, struck out five and didn’t allow a walk.

Shawn Kelley, who allowed Rusney Castillo’s homer in the seventh, really faltered in the second half of the season. He has a 4.53 ERA, and his ERA in August was 7.59 and in September it was 4.70. Capuano might be a better option than Kelley next season. David Robertson, who was able to convert his 39th save of the season in the ninth, is in the last year of his contract and the Yankees could choose to let the cheaper Dellin Betances be the closer next season.

The Yankees had seven hits off of three Red Sox pitchers. Steven Wright, a relief pitcher who was making only his second start, allowed two unearned runs in five innings. Eury Perez struck out in the second but advanced to first as a result of a passed ball by Dan Butler. Francisco Cervelli’s single scored Perez and then Cervelli scored later in the inning on a throwing error by second baseman Mookie Betts, who is normally a center fielder.

In the seventh inning, Zelous Wheeler hit a sacrifice fly to score John Ryan Murphy to give the Yankees their third run. The Yankees need to win their last two games to match their 85 wins from last season.

Jeter during the game on 9/21.

Jeter during the game on 9/21.

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Pitching matchups for the series between the Yankees and Blue Jays

Chris Capuano throwing a pitch for the Yankees.

Chris Capuano throwing a pitch for the Yankees.

After losing two out of three games to the Tigers at Comerica Park, the Yankees will start a three-game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays on Friday. The Yankees are now three games behind both the Tigers and Seattle Mariners for the second wild-card spot. 

The Yankees had an opportunity to win the third game, as Hiroki Kuroda only allowed two runs in seven innings pitched, but the offense was only 1-4 with runners in scoring position. Brian McCann grounded into a double play in the second with with Mark Teixeira on first. Their first run came on a Jacoby Ellsbury single to center that scored Zelous Wheeler. 

They scored one run in the fourth but were in position to tack on a few more. After Carlos Beltran’s double, the Yankees had runners on second and third with one out, but McCann had an RBI ground out and then Chase Headley grounded out to third. The Yankees could have scored three or more runs if McCann had hit a double and then Headley hit a single. 

After Dellin Betances recorded two out of three outs in the eighth inning via the strikeout, Shawn Kelley pitched the ninth and allowed the Tigers to get a walk-off win. Kelley struck out two batters in a row with runners on first and second and the score tied at two, but Alex Avila had the game-winning single. The Yankees would have won the game with more offensive production. The anemic offense cost Hiroki Kuroda another win and prevented the team from gaining ground on the Mariners and Tigers.

The Yankees will look to rebound against the Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre. The Yankees, who have a 69-63 record, are currently 2.5 games ahead of the Blue Jays in the wild-card standings. Toronto comes into the series having lost six of their last nine games. Here are the pitching matchups for the series that the Yankees have to win in Toronto: 

Friday 8/29 7:07 p.m. on YES

LHP Chris Capuano (1-3, 4.37 ERA)

vs. 

LHP Mark Buehrle (11-8, 3.41 ERA)

Saturday 1:07 p.m. on YES

RHP Michael Pineda (3-2, 1.95 ERA)

vs. 

RHP Drew Hutchison (8-11, 4.68 ERA)

Sunday 1:07 p.m. on YES

RHP Brandon McCarthy (5-3, 2.47 ERA with Yankees)

vs. 

LHP J.A. Happ (8-8, 4.40 ERA

 

The loss by the Yankees to the Indians on Thursday added insult to injury

Derek Jeter

Derek Jeter

The Yankees lost 9-3 to the Cleveland Indians on Thursday night at Progressive Field. The Yankees were on track to win the game with a 3-0 lead in the top of the seventh after scoring two runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, but the previously reliable bullpen allowed nine runs combined in the seventh and eighth.

David Phelps, who had only allowed three runs combined in his previous two starts, continued his improved pitching as he only allowed two runs in six innings pitched. However, it could have been zero runs in six innings if Matt Thornton would have prevented Phelps’s two inherited runners from scoring in the seventh. Thornton hadn’t allowed a run in his previous nine appearances, but his ineffective pitching led to a loss for the Yankees.

Manager Joe Girardi was impressed by how Phelps pitched and was disappointed that they couldn’t get the win for him. “He threw pretty well,” Girardi said. “It is unfortunate that we were not able to win the game for him. He has been really good. He has been on a little bit of a roll for us, which is important.

Phelps gave up a single to Chris Dickerson and Roberto Perez’s first career hit in his first game before being taken out of the game. Thornton allowed those two runners to score and allowed two runs of his own as Asdrubal Cabrera hit a triple to right that scored three runs and Michael Brantley hit a sacrifice fly to center that scored Cabrera.

Perez also hit his first major league home run in the eighth inning. His two-run blast off of rarely used reliever Jim Miller to made the score 6-3. The Indians would score three more runs in the frame off of Miller, highlighted by a 394-foot two-run homer by Carlos Santana.

Girardi could have left Phelps in longer, but Phelps had thrown 103 pitches after allowing those two consecutive singles. The Yankees struggles with runners in scoring position continued as they were only 1-5 in those situations. In the first inning, Francisco Cervelli, who has hit well with the bases loaded in his career, struck out with the bases loaded and two outs.

Yangervis Solarte, who was recalled from AAA Scranton before the game since Carlos Beltran was put on the 7-day concussion disabled list, had a single to left to score Cervelli for the team’s only hit with RISP. The Yankees scored their other two runs off of a two-run homer by rookie Zelous Wheeler. This was his second homer in his first 18 at-bats since being brought up from AAA Scranton.

Derek Jeter, who was 2-4 in the game, now has 1,000 career multi-hit games. It is yet another milestone in his Hall of Fame career.

Masahiro Tanaka will now be out for at least six weeks with a partial tear of his UCL. He will have a PRP injection in the coming days, and Brian Cashman said that Tommy John surgery could be an option. This very much hurts the rotation as he has been by far the team’s best starter so far. Cashman has said that they will try to improve the team before the trade deadline, which means that he will likely add another starter since 80 percent of the rotation to begin the season is on the disabled list.

They loss meant that they split the series with the Indians, with the Yankees winning the first and third game and the Indians winning the second and fourth. The Yankees bullpen had a 1.75 ERA in their previous 16 games, and part of the reason the bullpen gave up so many runs last night was because the most reliable options were not available as a result of Wednesday’s 14 inning game. The team is now four games behind the Baltimore Orioles before they start a three-game series in Baltimore on Friday.

Yankees lost to the Indians as Tanaka lost his third game in his last four starts

Tanaka while pitching for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan.

Tanaka while pitching for the Rakuten Golden Eagles in Japan.

The two-game winning streak that the Yankees were on ended as they lost 5-3 to the Cleveland Indians on Tuesday at Progressive Field. Masahiro Tanaka had his worst start since coming to the Yankees from Japan. He gave up 10 hits, two homers and five earned runs in 6.2 innings.

All-Star Michael Brantley was the player that Tanaka couldn’t contain as he was three for four with three RBIs and a run scored. Tanaka seemed to rebound well after allowing Brantley’s RBI double in the first inning, but he allowed another run scoring double to Brantley in the fifth, a two-run homer to former Yankee fan favorite Nick Swisher in the sixth and a homer to Brantley in the seventh.

Manager Joe Girardi admitted that everyone has starts like this one, so he was not shocked that Tanaka had his first start where he did not pick up a win or a quality start. “He got on a roll in innings three, four and five and then made mistakes to Swisher and Brantley,” Girardi said. “I thought the first couple of runs he gave up were on pretty good pitches.” In Tanaka’s last four starts, he has a 4.25 ERA, has allowed five homers and is 1-3.

Tanaka has still had an outstanding first season pitching for the Yankees as his ERA is now 2.51 and was recently selected to the All-Star Game. A Yankee who did not make the All-Star Game but was a borderline selection was Brett Gardner. His 15 steals are tied for 11th in the American League, his 54 runs scored are tied for 10th in the league and he is tied for third place with six triples. He also has a solid .287 average and has given the team an unexpected eight homers. He scored a run and drove in Ichiro Suzuki on a ground out to the shortstop in the second.

The Yankees scored two runs in the first inning off of Trevor Bauer. Mark Teixeira hit a single to center to score Gardner, and then Brian McCann struck out, but Jacoby Ellsbury scored the third run after Yan Gomes made an error after his steal of third. However, the Yankees only recorded four hits as Derek Jeter, Kelly Johnson and Zelous Wheeler combined to go 0-8. The Yankees struggled to hit in the clutch since they were only 2-9 with runners in scoring position. They were also only able to score one run off of three errors by the Indians.

Even though Brian Roberts was 0-4 on Tuesday, he is 10-30 so far in July, with five doubles, four runs scored and a .900 OPS. He has raised his average from .236 to a more respectable .247. This has led Rob Refsnyder to go back to playing the outfield for Scranton, which is the position that he played in college.

The Yankees are now four games behind the Baltimore Orioles for first place since their game was postponed last night due to inclement weather. Brandon McCarthy, who was acquired on July 7 from the Arizona Diamondbacks for Vidal Nuno, will try to give the Yankees their second win of the series in his first start as a Yankee. He has a 5.01 season ERA, but he has only given up two and one run respectively in his last two starts (12.2 innings).

Positive signs for McCarthy are his 55 percent ground-ball rate (best of career) and his 7.63 per nine innings strikeouts rate (best of his career). He was also leading the NL in fewest earned runs and hits allowed when he left Arizona. These stats indicate bad luck as well as ineffective defense while with the Diamondbacks. It is also a positive sign that two of his best seasons were while he was pitching for the Oakland Athletics, who are in the American League.

After a win to start the series at Target Field, the Yankees will look to have another memorable July 4th

Zealous Wheeler

Zelous Wheeler

The Yankees, who won the first game of the series against the Minnesota Twins 7-4 on July 3 at Target Field after losing eight of their previous 10 games, will try for to push their winning streak to two on July 4th. This will be their second consecutive year playing the Twins at Target Field on the 4th of July.

Today is the 75th anniversary of Lou Gehrig’s legendary “Luckiest Man on the Face of the Earth” speech. According to Jeff Quagliata, other notable Yankees moments from July 4th in Yankees history include Mickey Mantle hitting his 300th homer on this day in 1960, Dave Righetti throwing a no-hitter on this day in 1983 and knuckleballer Phil Niekro recording his 3,000th strikeout on this day in 1984. Jorge Posada and Marcus Thames slugged extra-inning walk-off hits on July 4th in 2009 and 2010, respectively.

To help the Yankees win Thursday’s game, Carlos Beltran hit a three-run homer in the fifth to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead. Zelous Wheeler, who was called up to the Yankees before the game, hit a solo homer later in the fifth in his first career MLB game. He is the first Yankee to homer in his first major-league game since Andy Phillips in 2004.

The Yankees scored three more runs in the seventh inning and their fifth run was scored by Ichiro Suzuki after a double by Brendan Ryan. Those were all the runs that the Yankees would need as Trevor Plouffe scored the Minnesota’s fourth and final run in the bottom of the seventh. Masahiro Tanaka’s four runs allowed in this start were more than in any of his other starts, but he was able to American League leading 12th win as a result of the seven runs that the Yankees scored.

Phil Hughes, who pitched for the Yankees from 2007 until 2013, allowed seven runs in his 6.1 innings pitched. Hughes was the right pitcher for the Yankees to break out of their slump with runners in scoring position. The Yankees were 3-4 with RISP, which included Beltran’s homer.

Mark Teixeira was impressed by Wheeler’s homer that he hit against the Twins. He tweeted that: “We figured out the secret to scoring more runs… just put Zealous in the lineup. What a debut!

Chase Whitley will look to bounce back from his previous start where he allowed five runs in his second worst start of his brief career. During his last two starts Whitley’s ERA has risen from 2.56 to 4.70. It will be key for him to control the ball and not allow walks like he did in four consecutive starts.

Kyle Gibson, a 6-6 righty from Indiana, will get the start for the Twins. In his last two starts Gibson allowed two and seven runs, respectively, which proves he has been hit or miss. The Yankees will look to have another memorable Independence Day game.